Does AB hold the record for most Test innings without a duck?

Mohammad Abbas took eight wickets in the Lord’s Test, but didn’t get on the honours board there, as he didn’t take five in either innings. Has anyone else missed out like that at Lord’s? asked Kenneth Halsey from England
Mohammad Abbas, who collected 4 for 23 and 4 for 41 in a fine display as Pakistan won the first Test against England last week was the unlucky 13th bowler to take four wickets in both innings of a Test at Lord’s. The first to do it (and the only one to claim his wickets more cheaply than Abbas) was the England slow left-armer Bobby Peel, with 4 for 36 and 4 for 14 against Australia at Lord’s in 1888.

Since then it has also been done by Ted McDonald (for Australia in 1921), Fred Trueman (against India in 1952), Norman Gifford (against India in 1971), Keith Boyce (for West Indies in 1973), Jeff Thomson (for Australia in 1977), Shane Warne (for Australia in 1993), Darren Gough (against South Africa in 1994), Waqar Younis (for Pakistan in 1996), Andy Caddick (against Pakistan in 2001), Steve Harmison (against New Zealand in 2004), and Steven Finn (against South Africa in 2012) Of those, Trueman, Gough, Waqar, Caddick, Harmison and Finn do feature on the honours board, as they took a five-for in a different Test at Lord’s.

Overall, there have now been 153 instances of a bowler taking four wickets in both innings of the same Test: Shane Warne did it seven times and Muttiah Muralitharan six, while the Australian fast bowlers Wayne Clark, Brett Lee and Dennis Lillee all managed it three times. Clark played only ten Tests in all, and never did claim a five-for.

Who are the leading run scorers and wicket-takers in the IPL over the years – both Indian and overseas players? asked Kamith Nagendra from India
Still top of the IPL run charts is Suresh Raina, who ended the 2018 competition with 4985 runs overall, just 37 more than Virat Kohli, who had overtaken him towards the end of the regular season but was overhauled again later on. Raina has also taken more catches (95) than any other outfielder in the IPL. The leading overseas run scorer, despite not having played in 2018, is David Warner, with 4014. He’s one of just eight players to have scored more than 4000 IPL runs (Chris Gayle is six runs short).

The leading wicket-taker remains Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, with 154: his absence in 2018 allowed Amit Mishra (146) to close the gap. In all, 12 bowlers have taken more than 100 IPL wickets, including two other overseas players, Dwayne Bravo (136) and Sunil Narine (112).

There’s been a lot of talk about how difficult it is to win Tests away from home these days. But which is the best ground for a visiting side? asked Terry Amos from Australia
Of the 52 grounds that have staged ten or more Tests, only four have seen the visiting side win more than half the matches – Mirpur and Chittagong in Bangladesh, and Bulawayo and Harare in Zimbabwe. The best grounds for visitors in the other Test countries percentage-wise are Kandy in Sri Lanka (nine away wins out of 21 Tests), Lancaster Park in Christchurch, New Zealand (16 of 40), Port Elizabeth in South Africa (11 of 29), Headingley in England (25 of 76, before the second Test against Pakistan), Port-of-Spain in Trinidad (18 of 60), Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium in India (seven of 25), Melbourne in Australia (30 of 110), and Faisalabad in Pakistan (five of 24).

Who’s the only man to win 50 Tests as captain? Is it Ricky Ponting? asked Justin Crampton from Australia
Ricky Ponting captained Australia in 77 Tests and won 48 of them. That puts him second on the list of most Tests won as captain, behind South Africa’s Graeme Smith, who led in 109 (including one for the World XI) and won 53 of them.

Ponting won 62.34% of his Tests as captain, a proportion beaten only by Steve Waugh, who won 41 out of 57 (71.93%), Don Bradman (15 out of 24, or 62.5%), and Faf du Plessis (currently 15 out of 23, or 65.22%).

Apart from Smith, Allan Border (93 matches, 32 wins) and Stephen Fleming (80 matches, 28 wins) also captained in more Tests than Ponting. For the full list, click here.

Does AB de Villiers still hold the record for the most Test innings without a duck? asked David Langley from South Africa
AB de Villiers does still hold the record for the most Test innings before a duck – he had 78 before finally falling for 0 against Bangladesh in Centurion in 2008-09. That dismissal meant the record for a whole career without a duck reverted to the 1950s Australian opener Jim Burke, who avoided getting out without scoring in all his 44 Test innings. The leading current player is another Australian, Tim Paine, with no ducks from 22 Test innings so far.

The record for the most successive innings without a duck at any stage of a Test career is 119, by England’s David Gower between 1982 and 1990-91.

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